Jonathan Zorn



All Talk (2003-2007)


  1. The Other Day (2003) voice and electronics: Jonathan Zorn

    While waiting for a bus in Minneapolis after cutting cheese for 8 hours I was entranced by the sound of multiple idling bus engines. Perhaps it was the constantly shifting rhythms and powerful low frequencies that got my attention, or perhaps it was because I was tired and breathing exhaust, either way the experience stuck in my head the whole way home. When I got home I recorded myself describing the experience. I became interested in the rhythm of my description and the silliness of my attempt to vocalize the engine sound. I went about creating a system to explore the rhythmic qualities of my delivery. The recording is played repeatedly through a a set of shifting resonant filters, which accentuate different aspects of the rhythm of my speech.


  2. The Other Day - Dinkytown Shuffle (2003) voice and mini-disc: Jonathan Zorn

    While waiting for a bus in Minneapolis after cutting cheese for 8 hours I was entranced by the sound of multiple idling bus engines. Perhaps it was the constantly shifting rhythms and powerful low frequencies that got my attention, or perhaps it was because I was tired and breathing exhaust, either way the experience stuck in my head the whole way home. When I got home I recorded myself describing the experience. I became interested in the rhythm of my description and the silliness of my attempt to vocalize the engine sound. I went about creating a system to explore the rhythmic qualities of my delivery. The recording is played repeatedly through a a set of shifting resonant filters, which accentuate different aspects of the rhythm of my speech.


  3. Conversation Piece (2005) voice and electronics: Jonathan Zorn and Rachel Thompson

    Conversation Piece was created with Rachel Thompson and is part of a growing body of audio and video systems we have developed that require the performers to cooperate/coordinate in peculiar ways. For this piece we recorded several hours of continuous conversation, which we then edited and assembled into two collections, one of my voice and one of Rachel's. The recordings were then combined with a system of electronics set up in a feedback loop. Rachel controlled the playback and processing of my voice, and I controlled the playback and processing of her voice. At the same time our modulations of the voice were also adjusting the entire feedback system. At times our voices succeed in being heard creating imaginary conversations, other times they end up triggering more feedback becoming part of the electronic sound-world.


  4. Philosophy 101 (2006) voice: anonymous friend

    This is a tape piece from a sound installation where a single phrase moves around the room at varying rates while certain words from the phrase get stuck and float in different parts of the space. While working on the computer program for this installation a friend sent me a recording made secretly years before of a mutual friend. Our friend was attempting to describe the devastating effect that reading Hegel had had on his mind. His linguistic confusion and oscillation between thesis and anti-thesis seemed to make appropriate source material for the piece I was working on. The opportunity to install the piece fell through so I created this two channel tape version from the eight channel piece.


  5. Talking Typing - Live Version     Studio Version (2007) talking and typing: Jonathan Zorn

    Talking/Typing is an improvised talk on extra-musical uses of sound - sound used as a weapon, a diagnostic tool, an architectural element, etc... A variety of scenarios are woven into the piece - how would Noriega have responded to the U.S. Army blasting Morton Feldman instead of Van Halen, did the first students learning how to use the stethoscope hear music in their patients' bodies, am I able to hear noises that disturb my sleep as music? These stories can lead to songs, vocal improvisations, and more ramblings about sound. As I talk I attempt to type what I am saying in unison with my speech. Since I am not a very good typist this creates an awkward pacing because I have to constantly adjust my speech rate to my typing rate. In addition to the physical constraints of typing and talking, every letter on the computer keyboard also triggers a sampler and pitch follower that transform my voice into electronic tones and spit my speech back out of order, making new phrases and nonsense at the push of a button. The live version was recorded during a performance at Duke University on September 8, 2007.



NOTES

Jonathan Zorn is a composer/sound artist/performer from Middletown, CT. He likes to make sounds using his voice, double bass, accordion, modular synthesizer, and computer. His compositions involve systems of interaction that exceed the control of any single participant, creating surprises for performers, audience, and composer. He has studied with Alvin Lucier, Anthony Braxton, Ron Kuivila, and Jon Barlow. Jonathan maintains several ongoing collaborative projects with artists and performers around the country including Rachel Thompson, David Kendall, Andrew Lafkas, Bryan Eubanks, and Katherine Young. More info about Jonathan Zorn here. More info about Rachel Thompson here.


RELATED RESOURCES:
Jonathan Zorn & Kenneth Goldsmith in UbuWeb Sound